Tag Archives: selling cars

Honda Odyssey Gen-4

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Honda Odyssey Gen-4

Good news for fans of luxury MPV 7-passenger medium-Honda, the Odyssey. The fourth generation of Honda MPV will be launched in next May in Indonesia by his ATPM, PT Honda Prospect Motor.

Actually, Odyssey launch in Indonesia was a year delay. The reason, HPM has plans to market the latest version at the beginning of the year. However, because the recession engulfing the world and get swept Indonesia, HPM was postponed.

Now, with the economy getting better, selling cars these days continues to increase, Honda decided to get this middle MPV market. Machines used the same capacity Odyssey CR-V and 2.4-liter Honda Accord. As for transmission, automotive CVT with torque converter. During the 2009 Honda Odyssey does not sell at all, whereas in 2008 only 3 units.

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Prius Hybrid sales in Japan

Prius Hybrid sales in Japan
Toyota Prius Hybrid again outperformed rivals Honda Insight Hybrid weighs in the biggest-selling car in October 2009. Prius became the most popular car in Japan.

It was marked by the sale of the Toyota Prius Hybrid Gen3 reaching sales of 26,918 units in October 2009.

As quoted by the official Toyota site, Thursday (11/11/2009) Toyota Motor Co. The Prius Hybrid with back slit Gen3 satisfactory sales results in October 2009 the Prius Hybrid sales record of 26,918 units Gen3. With this result the Prius had perched on the top position for 6 consecutive months.

While twin-engined car Honda Hybrid was defeated by Prius Hybrid. Prius Hybrid heavy rivals only managed to occupy the ninth position of the list of best-selling car in Japan in October 2009.

Honda Insight Hybrid is only able to collect 7074 sales units.

Auto Task Force: We Won’t Tell GM/Chrysler What to Build

TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN – General Motors, Chrysler and the auto industry — not the banking industry — continue to be the whipping boys for members of the far right who paint the Obama administration not as post-supply side Keynesians, but as unmitigated socialists. Ron Bloom, the new chairman of the Treasury department’s Automotive Task Force, tried to address that at the Center for Automotive Research’s annual conference here Wednesday.Granted, he was preaching to the choir. This crowd consisted not of socialist refugees from the old Trabant factory in East Germany, but of North American supplier executives who make up the majority of the CAR Conference’s audience. I’d venture to bet that a majority identify themselves as Republicans.Bloom addressed criticism that GM, Chrysler and the task force subverted longstanding U.S. Chapter 11 rules in giving secured creditors low priority in each filing.”Those who write of the bankruptcy rule being turned on its head haven’t read the two judges’ opinions,” he said. There’s enough case study to show “enough exception that the rule was swallowed long ago.”The quick, 43-day Chrysler bankruptcy and 39-day GM bankruptcy were designed to best maximize each “estate,” and quickly get them back in the business of selling cars and trucks, Bloom said. And any money provided to such creditors is entirely at the discretion of the debtor-in-possession creditor — in this case, the U.S. Government.So why not let GM and Chrysler file Chapter 11s privately? Bloom agrees with GM CEO Fritz Henderson’s argument that in the current financial climate, no other debtor-in-possession creditor large enough to take over the automakers was available. Paying off secured creditors would have been costly, making it impossible for the two automakers to issue stock and repay the Treasury. Bloom says he won’t second-guess Henderson’s assertion that GM can start an initial public offering as early as 2010, and start paying the Treasury about $50 billion back. Bloom believes it possible, but the size of the IPO will depend on GM’s and the market’s condition. Chrysler will need more time. He said repeatedly that the Obama administration does not want to run the auto industry, that neither he nor Barack Obama believes they can run the auto industry better than industry executives. And yet, giving the federal government a stake in each automaker is a better way to shepherd our investment. “GM needed capital. Providing capital as debt would have compounded the situation.”Of course, this is automaker country, and it would be hard to find anyone here who didn’t find Bloom’s reassurances, well, reassuring. Without government intervention, GM and Chrysler would have liquidated, bringing much of the supplier base and probably the Ford Motor Company with them. Unemployment already is 15.4 percent in Michigan, 4.9 points higher than the national level.GM and Chrysler won’t be told what kinds of cars and trucks to build, beyond what the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration already mandate for each and every vehicle sold in the United States, Bloom said. Another speaker here, Rod Lache, managing director of Deutsche Bank Securities, said of Bloom’s “government intervention” in the auto industry, “Wall Street is not as concerned about this as you may believe.”Chapter 7 liquidation for GM and Chrysler would have collapsed Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan — most every automaker doing business in the U.S., Lache said.”We think that GM may be profitable by 2011. Ford looks like it may do it even later this year.” And yet, even with Wall Street’s support, a small, but vocal contingent in the U.S. see any government intervention as detrimental to the very core being of capitalism. Detrimental to unbridled capitalism, perhaps. The ravages of unbridled capitalism is, after all, what exacerbated GM’s and Chrysler’s problems in the first place.Nevertheless, with most of this crowd reassured by these Keynesian efforts to rebuild the auto industry, and with it a manufacturing-based economy, on Tuesday, so-called tea-baggers loudly protested a congressman’s press conference on extending the Cash for Clunkers bill at a St. Louis dealership. Why? Because it gave government-funded rebates to get consumers back into car dealerships? Because the $1-billion Cash for Clunkers program was more successful at stimulating the economy than George W. Bush’s $600-per-taxpayer rebate last year?Why do the tea-baggers hate the auto industry so much?
Source : blogs.motortrend.com/6565968/government/auto-task-force-we-wont-tell-gm-chrysler-what-to-build/index.html

Penske’s Saturn: The Post-Modern Auto Company

Auto companies have traditionally been engineering and manufacturing businesses, rather than marketing and retail businesses. Henry Ford, for example, insisted dealers pay for his Model Ts as soon as they left the factory door. But what made sense in Henry’s time, and reached its apotheosis with the huge River Rouge plant, the most vertically integrated automobile factory in the world, has become a liability today. Auto plants cost staggering amounts of money to build and to run. And in an era where the manufacturing process no longer delivers major differentiators in terms of the finished product — all vehicles have to meet similar safety and fuel economy mandates, and the cost and quality differences between the best and the worst are getting smaller all the time — that’s money many auto industry insiders wished they no longer had to spend. Especially as what largely defines an auto company these days is not where its products are made, but how its brands are perceived by consumers.A Boxster is still a Porsche, even though it is built in Finland by Valmet. A Grand Cherokee is still a Jeep, even though it is built in Austria by Magna Steyr. Right hand drive Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series models are still seen as German cars, even though they are made in South Africa.Which is why Roger Penske’s Saturn play is a stroke of genius. With Saturn, Penske has the opportunity to create the first truly post-modern auto company. Penske’s Saturn doesn’t own a single factory, design studio, or proving ground. What it does own — and all it needs to own — is the intellectual property of the Saturn brand. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect candidate to become a post-modern auto company than Saturn. Envisioned by GM chairman Roger B. Smith as an import fighter because of advanced manufacturing techniques that included a highly automated plant and plastic body panels, Saturn succeeded not because the original car was good — actually, it wasn’t even remotely competitive with anything from Toyota or Honda — but because it was cleverly sold and marketed. Saturn consumers bought into the defining promise of the brand — no haggle pricing and great customer service — rather than the physical attributes of the vehicle.Although GM has agreed to build Saturns for Penske for at least two years, future Saturn models may be sourced from a variety of automakers around the world (the latest rumor has Penske talking with Renault). Saturn could simply rebadge another manufacturer’s existing model, paying for U.S. market certification costs and minor cosmetic changes, or it could commission an automaker to design, engineer and manufacture a complete new vehicle. Either way, it could bring new models to market for way less capital cost than a traditional automaker. Finding someone with spare factory space to build Saturns won’t be hard: The world’s automakers currently have the capacity to build 92 million vehicles a year, but will be lucky to build 60 million in 2009, says respected industry forecaster CSM Worldwide. And with the global economy expected to recover slowly from recession, there’s going to be plenty of spare capacity around the world for a long time yet.All Penske’s Saturn has to do to succeed is sell cars and trucks that deliver on the promise of the Saturn brand. The actual vehicles can be made anywhere, by anyone, and as long as they are competitive with the mainstream players in their respective segments in terms of performance, economy, quality, and equipment levels, it almost doesn’t matter what they are, because the Saturn brand is mostly defined by a classy purchase experience. And if there’s one thing Roger Penske knows how to do with class, it’s selling cars and trucks.
Source : blogs.motortrend.com/6538063/editorial/penskes-saturn-the-post-modern-auto-company/index.html

Mystery Over: Chinese Company in Talks to Buy Hummer

DETROIT – Who is going to buy Hummer? General Motors took the unusual action of announcing a memorandum of understanding on its sale Tuesday morning, without naming the buyer. GM’s chief financial officer, Ray Young, said in a conference call  that Hummer’s potential new owners “prefer not to disclose” their identity at this time.

But the drama behind the identity of Hummer’s prospective new owner didn’t last long. Earlier in the day, the New York Times reported that GM has reached a preliminary agreement with the Chinese company Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd. GM confirmed the report later this afternoon.

Sichuan Tengzhong is a privately owned maker of road equipment, but has recently been moving down into the heavy-duty truck market, according to the Times. If completed, the deal would mark the first time a brand selling cars in America would be bought by a Chinese company. Several Chinese companies have been rumored to be in the running to buy Swedish automakers Saab and Volvo in recent months. Estimates have Hummer selling for less than $500 million.

“The Hummer brand is synonymous with adventure, freedom and exhilaration, and we plan to continue that heritage by investing in the business, allowing Hummer to innovate and grow in exciting new ways under the leadership and continuity of its current management team,” said Yang Yi, CEO of Tengzhong. “We will be investing in the Hummer brand and its research and development capabilities, which will allow Hummer to better meet demand for new products such as more fuel-efficient vehicles in the U.S.”

According to GM, Hummer will continue to maintain its U.S. headquarters and operations, and the brand will continue to be managed by the existing leadership team. Hummer’s dealer network is also expected to be expanded worldwide by Sichuan, with the Chinese market of course one of the main targets. If all goes well, the deal will be completed by the third quarter of this year.

It may end up being a hard sell here, however, as Hummer has been associated with the American military. The potential sensitive nature of Chinese ownership may be why Sichuan Tengzhong did not want to be named at the outset.

Early on, last year when GM said it would sell or close the brand, Russian investors were the lead candidates, later, Chinese automaker Hunan Chengfeng Motor Company entered the rumor mill as a potential suitor. Middle Eastern oil was also a possiblity; Aabar Investments recently acquired 9.1-percent of Daimler AG, and Mubadala Development Company owns 5-percent of Ferrari. Both investment firms are based in Abu Dhabi.

GM says it will continue to build H3s for the new owner on an interim basis, until the purchaser can get its own production up and running. The deal “will secure more than 3000 jobs in manufacturing, engineering and dealerships across the country,” GM says in its press release.

It has closed its South African plant that built the H3 for right-hand-drive markets, but the Shreveport, Louisiana factory that builds left-hand-drive H3s also is gearing up for new compact pickups expected for the 2012 model year.

And GM has designs for the next-generation H2 and H3, plus plans for the Jeep Wrangler-like H4 that should sweeten the deal for the new owner. One big question mark is whether AM General would resume production of a civilian H2 under contract for a new owner.

Young said GM has some 16 entities interested in buying Saturn division. He described them mostly as “interested parties,” i.e. dealership groups, and private equity groups. Young noted that the process is taking longer than expected, that one issue still not resolved is whether GM would continue to build Saturns on contract or whether a new owner will find another source of vehicles. Roger Penske’s interest is rumored to involve a deal with Nissan/Renault in which excess Nissan capacity in the U.S. would go to future Saturn models.

Young also tried to offer some reassurance that Opel will continue to be an integral part of General Motors. Asked who is going to be running Opel, he said that the new GM European team will report to Adam Opel AG. He said that American models developed, in part, overseas are still on track for introduction. But we already knew that – the 2010 Buick LaCrosse is scheduled to go on-sale this summer and the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, already on sale in much of the world, enters the North American market more than a year from now.

But the LaCrosse’s Epsilon platform was developed chiefly in Warren, Michigan, with Opel-specific tuning done in Germany, and the Cruze is largely a product of GM’s Daewoo operations in South Korea.

My concern is whether GM will continue to have substantial operations in Western Europe (where Chrysler has been lagging for decades). Young admitted that lots of details needed to be worked out with Magna International and Sberbank. The good news here is that GM isn’t dealing with Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne, the guy who extracted $2.5 billion from GM so it wouldn’t have to buy Marchionne’s company.

Finally, Young also outlined a plan for “wind-down” agreements with about 1100 dealers it plans to close, on its way to a total dealer reduction of roughly 2700 dealers in the next few years. GM expects some dealers will drop out due to attrition, and others will have agreements with whoever owns Hummer, Saturn and Saab.

GM will contribute support payments to dealers that have been told they will lose their franchise agreements. Young didn’t disclose how much each dealer would get. Nor did he say how GM would handle the dealers’ inventory. Turning over unsold cars and trucks from a closed dealer to one that stays open means the ’09 leftovers will linger that much longer into 2010. It’s better than the alternative, however; accelerating sales incentives to clear cars and trucks from lots before they close. That would have a devastating effect on the value of new, and late-model GM vehicles.

Source : blogs.motortrend.com/6549275/car-news/mystery-over-chinese-company-in-talks-to-buy-hummer/index.html

Pontiac History

Pre-war years: 1926-1942

1928 Pontiac

1936 Pontiac Master Six Coupe

The Pontiac brand was introduced by General Motors in 1926 as the ‘companion’ marque to GM’s Oakland Motor Car line. The Pontiac name was first used in 1906 by the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works and linked to Chief Pontiac who led an unsuccessful uprising against the British shortly after the French and Indian War. The Oakland Motor Company and Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works Company merged in November 1908 under the name of the Oakland Motor Car Company. The operations of both companies were joined together in Pontiac, Michigan (in Oakland County) to build the Cartercar. Oakland was purchased by General Motors in 1909. The first General Motors Pontiac was conceived as an affordable six cylinder that was intended to compete with more inexpensive four cylinder models. Within months of its introduction, Pontiac outsold Oakland. As Pontiac’s sales rose and Oakland’s sales began to decline, Pontiac became the only ‘companion’ marque to survive its ‘parent’, when Oakland ceased production in 1932.

Pontiac began selling cars with straight 6-cylinder engines with the 40 hp (30 kW) 186 ci (3.1 liter) (3.25×3.75 in, 82.5x95mm) L-head six in the Pontiac Chief of 1927; its stroke was the shortest in the American car industry at the time. The Chief sold 39,000 units within six months of its appearance at the 1926 New York Auto Salon, hitting 76,742 within twelve months. The next year, it becoming the top-selling six in the U.S., ranking seventh in overall sales. In 1933, it moved up to producing the cheapest cars with straight eight-cylinder (inline eight) engines. This was done by using many components from the 6-cylinder Chevrolet, such as the body. In the late 1930s, Pontiac used the so-called torpedo body of the Buick for one of its models just prior to its being used by Chevrolet as well. This body brought some attention to the marque.

For an extended period of time, prewar through the early 1950s, the Pontiac was a quiet and solid car, but not especially powerful. With a flathead (side-valve) straight eight. These combinations proved attractive to the vehicle’s target market – a reserved lower middle class not especially interested in performance or handling but seeking good value and a roomy vehicle in a step up from the entry-level Chevrolet. This fit well within parent GM’s strategy of passing an increasingly prosperous customer up through the various divisions. Straight 8s are slightly less expensive to produce than the increasingly popular V8s, but they were also heavier and longer. Also, the long crankshaft suffered from excessive flex, which restricted straight 8s to relatively low compression and modest revs. In this application, inexpensive (but poor-breathing) flatheads were not a liability.

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